Jarrod Bowen: I feel I’m getting my spark back
Speaking after West Ham United’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester United on 14 March, Jarrod Bowen admitted his form had not been good enough in recent matches.
Since then, the forward has rediscovered his best, scoring in the 3-3 home draw with Arsenal and again in Monday’s 3-2 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers to fire the Irons into the Premier League’s top four.
In the latter, Bowen replaced the injured Michail Antonio in a lone centre-forward role, netted a rasping left-foot strike and covered every blade of the Molineux pitch to help his team earn three important points.
With eight games to play, starting with a home game against third-place Leicester City at London Stadium on Sunday afternoon, West Ham are challenging for European qualification less than nine months after winning a tense relegation battle.
For Bowen, his individual improvement and that of the squad as a whole under the guidance of manager David Moyes and his staff have been a source of pride and enjoyment, but the No20 just wants both to keep getting better and better.
I feel I’m getting my spark back and scoring against Arsenal and scoring on Monday night as well are massive for my confidence
“Every time I play, I always give 110 per cent,” he told West Ham TV. “I obviously wasn’t in the starting XI but I was always ready for whenever my chance was going to come.
“Unfortunately Mick picked up a knock, these things happen, and I just had to do a quick warm-up and get on the pitch and two minutes later the ball was in the back of the net, so it’s all about being ready and I’m always ready to give my all.
“After the Man United game, I said I was disappointed with my recent performances but, since that game, I feel I’m getting my spark back and scoring against Arsenal and scoring on Monday night as well are massive for my confidence.
“These things happen as a player. I’m obviously still new to the Premier League – I don’t want to use that as an excuse but even the manager has told me that sometimes it happens – but it’s all about mindset, focusing on yourself and what you’re good and keeping doing the right things.
“I prepared well even though I knew I wasn’t playing from the start at Wolves, and I’m glad I took the chance when I got it.”
Bowen’s goal was laid on by Jesse Lingard, who was in sensational form – again – at Molineux, scoring one wonderful goal after running from inside his own half before playing his part in West Ham’s other two.
For the 24-year-old, playing alongside the England international makes things that much easier for him and his teammates.
“I joked to him for my goal ‘Did you try and dribble past him or were you passing it?!’ and he said he was passing it, obviously!” Bowen smiled.
“You can see his talent since the first day he came in and it’s no surprise that he’s scoring goals and setting up goals for the team. He’s been a real breath of fresh air for this massively important run-in.
“We all want to stay at this level and where we’re at in the league right now. We’ve got eight games left and they’re all massive games for us to go out there and achieve something special.”
Sunday’s Premier League fixture with Leicester will be broadcast live in the UK by Sky Sports Main Event, Premier League and UHD, with kick-off at 2.05pm.